2019 was the second time that Tramlines took place in it’s new home at Hillsborough Park. Last year was a big celebration for Sheffield’s festival and I was worried that this year’s event wouldn’t have the same party atmosphere as the 10th Anniversary. I needn’t have worried.
Kicking things off for Tramlines for me was Sheffield’s finest young indie band, The Seamonsters.
As is tradition, The Seamonsters got even better than the last time I saw them, with their irresistible indie pop constantly growing in quality and scale surely they will rise up the festival stage ranks in the years to come.
Next it was over to the Main Stage for the first time of the weekend for Circa Waves.
Drawing the first smoke bombs of the weekend, Circa Waves played a very tight set with big hits like ‘T-Shirt Weather’ really getting the festival into full swing.
After Circa Waves was the penultimate act of the day, Manic Street Preachers.
The Manics brought out all of the hits, starting off with the massive Motorcycle Emptiness which immediately made everyone forget about the torrential rain that threatened to ruin Hillsborough Park’s day.
With a surprisingly great ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ cover and newer hits like ‘International Blue’ amongst classics like ‘Everything Must Go’, MSP played a career spanning, crowd pleasing set.
Closing the Leadmill stage on Friday were Sunderland’s finest, The Futureheads.
The Futureheads were one of my most anticipated acts of the weekend, having missed them the first time around I was very excited to see them now that they were back playing live again. They did not disappoint, playing an incredibly tight set of indie-punk, and drawing a massive, eager crowd for the tent who ate up tracks like ‘Decent Days and Nights’ and their iconic Kate Bush cover ‘Hounds of Love’
First up for me on Saturday were Sheffield locals Oddity Road.
Pulling a big crowd early in the day, Oddity Road were on top form bringing indie rock banger after banger to Hillsborough Park.
After Oddity Road, I ventured over to the Leadmill stage to see some of the comedy acts! The comedy lineup for Saturday was international, with Thomas Green and Dan Muggleton both being from Australia, and Reginald D Hunter being American. As with last year. the Leadmill Comedy selection was perfect, with the tent being packed all afternoon.
After Reg had finished, it was over to T’Other stage for Anteros, who played a great set of shimmery indie-pop.
Main Stage for an evening of indie madness. Miles Kane took to the stage adorned in glitter and went straight into the blistering ‘Inhaler’.
After Miles, Sheffield indie icons Reverend & The Makers, as expected, stormed the Main Stage and drew an enormous, excitable crowd.
Smoke bombs in abundance, Rev and Co bounced through all of their biggest hits with one of the most crowd-pleasing sets of the weekend.
The nice one from The Smiths was up next.
Johnny Marr very kindly cranked out a few massive Smiths hits alongside his new solo material, with the likes of ‘Easy Money’ going down just as well as ‘This Charming Man’ with a very happy Tramlines crowd.
Closing the day were indie heavyweights the Courteeners, who brought with them one of the hypest crowds Tramlines has ever seen.
Manchester’s second Liam and co played a stellar set of Indie Bangers and really proved why they deserved that top spot on the bill. If anyone was ever in doubt.
The final day of Sheffield’s Biggest Party got underway with a party, created by none other than Happy Mondays.
Opening the day with a big hit of 90’s nostalgia could have been a big cheesey mess, but the Mondays proved they still have it, playing a very tight hit filled set and Shaun tried his best to ‘keep things PG this early in the day’.
Guest Singer was up next on the Library Stage.
One of the acts that BBC Introducing had selected to play at the festival, Guest Singer was one of my highlights of the weekend, with ‘New Experience’ being an absolute banger.
Back to the main stage for 90’s indie stalwarts Sleeper now.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Sleeper, but they really impressed me with a great, energetic set of classic indie-rock tunes that still sounded fresh. Always good to see a band enjoying playing as much as the crowd enjoy watching!
Next up was Lewis Capaldi.
Unsurprisingly, Lewis drew the biggest crowd of the weekend, and the lad was on top form both musically and comically, with a really strong voice and stage presence matched with the sharp wit of a genuine stand-up comedian, this could quickly become an intimate gig for Lewis.
Over to the Leadmill stage for the last time of the weekend next for Good Cop Bad Cop.
A Sheffield supergroup of sorts, GCBC played a blinder of a set, with material from their debut album sounding amazing live, and an incredible cover of The Human League’s Love Action went down a treat.
Closing the Tramlines weekend were Nile Rodgers & Chic.
Some acts play a ‘greatest hits’ set at festivals, and a few of these big hitters really get a crowd moving. Nile & Chic played a set of pretty much the greatest hits of all time. Energy filled from the get-go, Chic were incredibly joyous for every single song, and the crowd matched that energy throughout. A perfect festival headliner.
Tramlines did it again. It really is Sheffield’s biggest party, and everyone there just seems so happy and excited all the time; everyone in Hillsborough Park has an amazing time. Bring on next year.